CHARLES TOLLIVER

Post Bop / Progressive Big Band / Fusion • United States
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Dizzy Gillespie, when asked in a Downbeat magazine interview with Herb Nolan, “what trumpet players do you hear today whom you like”, Dizzy’s reply, “Charles Tolliver – I like him”. Charles Tolliver, entirely self-taught, is a remarkable talent who has gained an outstanding reputation as a trumpetist, bandleader, composer, arranger, and educator. Born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1942, his musical career began at the age of 8 when his beloved grandmother, Lela, presented him with his first instrument, a cornet, and the inspiration to learn.

After a few years of college majoring in pharmacy at Howard University, and formulating his trumpet style, Charles began his professional career with the saxophone giant Jackie Mclean. Making his recording debut with McLean on Blue Note Records in 1964, Charles has since recorded and/or performed with such renowned artists as Roy Haynes, Hank Mobley, Willie Bobo, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Booker Ervin, Gary
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CHARLES TOLLIVER Discography

CHARLES TOLLIVER albums / top albums

CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc : The Ringer album cover 4.95 | 2 ratings
Music Inc : The Ringer
Post Bop 1969
CHARLES TOLLIVER Charles Tolliver And His All Stars (aka Paper Man) album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Charles Tolliver And His All Stars (aka Paper Man)
Post Bop 1971
CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc. album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Music Inc.
Progressive Big Band 1971
CHARLES TOLLIVER Charles Tolliver / Music Inc & Orchestra : Impact album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Charles Tolliver / Music Inc & Orchestra : Impact
Progressive Big Band 1976
CHARLES TOLLIVER New Tolliver (aka Compassion) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
New Tolliver (aka Compassion)
Post Bop 1978
CHARLES TOLLIVER With Love album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
With Love
Progressive Big Band 2006
CHARLES TOLLIVER Connect album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Connect
Fusion 2020

CHARLES TOLLIVER EPs & splits

CHARLES TOLLIVER live albums

CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc : Impact album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Music Inc : Impact
Post Bop 1972
CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc.:  Live At Slugs' Volume 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Music Inc.: Live At Slugs' Volume 1
Post Bop 1972
CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc : Live At Slugs' Volume II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Music Inc : Live At Slugs' Volume II
Post Bop 1973
CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc : Live At The Loosdrecht Jazz Festival (aka Grand Max) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Music Inc : Live At The Loosdrecht Jazz Festival (aka Grand Max)
Post Bop 1973
CHARLES TOLLIVER Charles Tolliver / Music Inc ‎: Live In Tokyo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Charles Tolliver / Music Inc ‎: Live In Tokyo
Post Bop 1974
CHARLES TOLLIVER Live In Berlin At The Quasimodo Vol.1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Berlin At The Quasimodo Vol.1
Post Bop 1990
CHARLES TOLLIVER Live In Berlin At The Quasimodo Vol.2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Berlin At The Quasimodo Vol.2
Post Bop 1992
CHARLES TOLLIVER Emperor March: Live at the Blue Note album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Emperor March: Live at the Blue Note
Progressive Big Band 2009

CHARLES TOLLIVER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CHARLES TOLLIVER re-issues & compilations

CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc : Live At Historic Slugs' album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Music Inc : Live At Historic Slugs'
Hard Bop 1992
CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc. : Live At Slugs' Vol.1 & 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Music Inc. : Live At Slugs' Vol.1 & 2
Hard Bop 2003
CHARLES TOLLIVER Mosaic Select 20: Charles Tolliver album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mosaic Select 20: Charles Tolliver
Post Bop 2005
CHARLES TOLLIVER Charles Tolliver Big Band album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Charles Tolliver Big Band
Big Band 2011

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CHARLES TOLLIVER Reviews

CHARLES TOLLIVER Connect

Album · 2020 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Trumpeter Charles Tolliver made his name during the late 60s-early 70s, playing creative post bop in small bands with pianist Stanley Cowell and sax player Gary Bartz among others and co-founding an impressive progressive big band Music Inc. His albums from early 70s all are classics and sound pretty well even now.

From late 70s Tolliver disappeared from active recordings with a very few predominantly live recordings coming from 90s and 00's. "Connect" is his first studio album in fourteen years.

Recorded and released in UK, the veteran's album is of traditional 70s size - 39 minutes (or vinyl LP) long. It contains four Tolliver originals, some of them has been already heard on his more current albums in big band arrangements. His cross-generation all-American quintet (recorded in renown RAK studio during European tour) contains seasoned musicians bassist Buster Williams (played with Herbie Hancock and Archie Shepp among many others) and drummer Lenny White (of RTF fame), mid-generation altoist Jesse Davis and youngster pianist Keith Brown. Fashionable Brits tenor Binker Golding participates as a guest on two tracks.

Well recorded, music itself is quite conservative and recalls more early fusion era than second decade of a New Millennium. What is not necessarily a bad thing, just depending on the listener's taste. Compositions are tight, up-tempo, quite straight and not too knotty, just well played without any tricks. Fans of early fusion ca.72 will probably enjoy the sound which is really rare nowadays.

There are two reasons why "Connect" isn't as great an album as some of Tolliver's best works. First, compositions are not all that memorable, and second - drummer Lenny White (as almost always) sounds very much as rock drummer in a jazz band - heavyweight,straight-forward and non-subtle that doesn't add elegance to whole music at all. It's interesting that Binker Golding's, who is an artist of very different background and generation, soloing is quite successful and embellishes the song's sound a lot.

CHARLES TOLLIVER Music Inc : The Ringer

Album · 1969 · Post Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Steve Wyzard
BRIGHT & BRILLIANT

For your consideration, we present yet another entry in the "Should-Be-Much-Better-Known-Than-They-Are" category of jazz trumpeters. Charles Tolliver, who has played with everybody from Jackie McLean to McCoy Tyner, from Max Roach to Louis Hayes, usually performs in much larger ensembles which have helped to ensure his relative anonymity. In mid-1969 he recorded The Ringer for Black Lion Records (it's been re-issued a number of times on different labels with different covers) with his quartet Music, Inc: Stanley Cowell on piano, Steve Novosel on bass, and Jimmy Hopps on drums. This album is a stand-out performance of its time: one listen will demonstrate why it demands a much-more accessible re-issue on CD.

"Plight" opens the proceedings with a bang: Tolliver's bubbly yet brassy tone on his long solo leaps out from your speakers, so monitor your volume control carefully. He eschews the flugelhorn entirely on this album, and makes no bones about dominating the self-composed material. Only Stanley Cowell from the rest of his group receives any substantial soloing time, but he is unfortunately buried in the right-channel of this recording (typical late-60s, early-70s engineering). The epic "On the Nile" starts slowly before Jimmy Hopps' busy percussion ignites the musical engines. This track must be in the running for Tolliver's greatest moment in a recording studio: big, spacious slabs of lyrical trumpeting, one blistering, stuttering solo after another. Too hot to handle! The upbeat brilliance of the title track ends suddenly before the album's first drastic change-of-pace. "Mother Wit" begins as a moving adagio, giving Tolliver a chance to play lugubriously. Steve Novosel's bass line (buried in the left-channel) pushes the group forward to a swinging crescendo before the original tempo is once again resumed. The light-hearted closer "Spur" gives everyone a chance to strut their stuff, with Tolliver joining in last of all.

One can only hope this fabulous album will someday be rescued from the dust of oblivion. If you can find The Ringer in any format, do not hesitate to snap it up immediately. One final mystery: the name-dropping liner notes (credit: Valerie Wilmer) state that this album was Tolliver's first under his own name. Yet just one year previously, Paper Man (featuring Gary Bartz, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Joe Chambers) was released on the exact same label, and is also well worth looking for. I realize the times were different, but how could this have been missed?

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